Over the last week or so, I have made three lamps from scratch, all the exact same way, using the same supplies, same brand of wax, same exact process. You can see in the pics below how my mileage varied.
My total combined cost for these three lamps. $4 for a pound of wax, $8 for 2 shades of wax dye. $2 for 2 gallons of distilled water and $6 for a huge jug of epsom salt. $6 for a can of Brakleen. $26 total for 3 globes. Not bad.
I had one globe that never worked. 3 out or 4 are flowing, not sure about one of those. 2 of my 4 are looking good. One was dumped, one I am hoping improves...
This one I just finished today. Flowing perfect, almost bubble free. I love how the lava looks and flows almost perfect. I am afraid to color the lava, as it may introduce bubbles or thin the lava. This clear globe with white lava is my best one yet. Sadly the globe is a bit scratched up, although you can't notice from a few feet away.
The yellow one shown below is about a week old. Crystal clear, lava flows perfect, just some bubbles I am hoping will work themselves out. The yellow color of the lava is bright and striking, especially in the water, which is 100% clear.
This last one is about 3-4 days old. It was made exactly the same as the others. It is so full of bubbles, it is hard to believe where they even came from. Nothing splashed around while filling the wax, or mixing in the perc, I don't know what caused this. The water is also a bit cloudy. I am going to cycle this one for a few weeks, because I love the coral lava color and the way it flows. It is doesn't correct, I will dump and start over.
How my white lava is bubble free and the coral one has thousands of bubbles is baffling to me.
Even the best scientists in the world (they all work for mathmos as there still is noi cure for cancer...I'm convinced of this beeing true) have batched which look like this...thats probly a matter of the mood of the almighty
spaghetti monster or some other made up god thingy...
All look normal and great
As far as bubbles when making lamps
I've found if you put the freshly loaded bottle in a bath of boiling water and let it overheat until everything floats and let it boil there for @20 min - All the bubbles will come out.
Then gently pull it, sit it on the counter and let it cool naturally
This is a pic of a lamp I made this morning. I got two of these knock-off rocket designs from a friend. One was glitter and both were cloudy. Both have now been brought back to life with freshly made lava. Artminds wax and Artminds red dye. This pic is of the first flow. Still doing minor gravity adjustments.
Total time from dumping the old contents until first flow of new lava... 3 hours.